Must See Documentaries: Fashion & Beauty.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

― Coco Chanel

Fashion is so much more then just clothes. It is catwalks, empires, photography, vision, love and beauty. It is the efforts of so many.

I have complied a list of inspiring stories. This list looks to the future and travels to the past to show us not just what is the next big thing but who are those people who have shaped this industry, who are those people we have to thank? Each of these documentaries are not only just gratifying and thought-provoking, they are also important. I believe it is imperative to not just know more about what you love but also to be an educated consumer in this fast fashion dominated industry.

With the weather getting colder and the nights coming on faster tapping into these stirring documentaries could be just the inspiration you need to start your very own empire. Or perhaps this list will push you to ask questions the next time you look at a magazine or model. It is important to not just accept what we see but to look with curiosity and marvel at the lives of others. So grab your hot water bottle, pour a glass of wine, snuggle in and press play. I guarantee you that at least one of these pictures will change how you see fashion forever.

The Tents

Described as a ‘”incredibly sexy trade show” and “a utopian village where everyone has cute shoes” New York Fashion Week is where everyone wants to be. Originally located in Bryant Park, New York Fashion Week is a place where designers have an opportunity to show case their latest collections on a world-class level. The Tents breaks down the mechanics of the shows and traces the history of what fashion week was and what fashion week now is. This documentary explains how clothes get from a designer to a store, and gives you an all access pass to one of the hottest most important weeks in fashion.

 The Next Black

The beautiful opening sequence sets the mood to this thought provoking and forward thinking look at the future of fashion.

Touching on subjects like the environmental impact of the production of fashion and the merging of technology and textiles, The Next Black remains positive and encouraging about the future. This is an effective documentary because it shows the audience that there is a way to a sustainable and healthy industry. It also highlights some of the groundbreaking projects that help support this new movement in the industry.

This is a very important film for all new designers, consumers, and entrepreneurs to watch and discuss.

OWN Visionaries: Tom Ford

Get ready to spend an hour deeply immersed in a vision, Tom Ford’s vision. Tom Ford has such aesthetic and presence. Is it too obvious to say that he really knows what he is doing? It’s so easy to follow his thought process and after watching this I truly felt like I might be under some sort of spell. He interviews with such calm and really opens his heart to speak with honesty in this segment. He is a man with true purpose and vision.  Not just that but the clothes he designs are incredible. He just oozes class and style. No matter which medium he is
working in, he absolutely nails it. Loose your self in his world and let yourself be inspired.

Girl Model

This documentary follows a recently recruited 13-year-old model and a morally conflicted scout as they make their way from Serbia to Japan. It’s the story of young girls being given ‘an opportunity’ to leave their homes in Russia and Serbia and travel to live the ‘dream life’of a model. Complex contracts, constant rejection, debt and loneliness aren’t normally synonymous with modeling but it is certainly what that these girls endure. An important alternative view to what modeling is like in different parts of the world. This documentary is honest, non judgmental and unexpectedly haunting.

Bill Cunningham New York

Meet Bill Cunningham, he’s been photographing stylish people on the streets of New York for decades. He never stops working and lives in his studio (actual studio not apartment loft style studio) in Carnegie Hall. Bill is an on going contributor for the New York Times and has the outstanding ability to instinctively predict trends and pick up on new waves of fashion. This upbeat documentary includes interviews with Bill’s admires and close friends including Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel, Micheal Kors, Editta Sherman and David Rockefeller. The
film shakes off that glitz, glamour and dollar value of couture and hits the streets tailing one man’s hunt for real authenticity.

Just Kicks

Just Kicks is the history of the sneaker industry. From sports wear to street wear to corporation takeover, this is the story of how sneakers got on everybody’s feet.  This fashion statement was inspired by hip-hop, violence, basketball and urban culture. Interviews with avid collectors demonstrate how serious some people take their shoes and the lengths they will go to to own their dream pair. The more exclusive the shoe the more a frenzy builds around them. This documentary cuts open wide the sneaker cult.

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

Before Anna Wintour came the one and only Diana Vreeland. Getting her beginnings at Harper’s Bazar in 1936 Vreeland quickly became know as a woman with an epic ability to forecast fashion. The Eye Has To Travel is rich with amazing footage, interviews and beautiful clothes. Seeing Diana Vreeland’s apartment is a good enough reason to watch this beautifully composed documentary. This is absolutely a must see and an opportunity to learn more about the woman who defined style for an entire generation.

L’amour Fou

An unforgettable journey through the lives of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lover and business partner, Pierre Bergé.  Watch as an empire is built and then auction off piece by piece in one of France’s most memorable estate sales.  Intimate interviews with Pierre Bergé shed light on the personal struggles and triumphs of the fashion power house: Yves Saint Laurent. This is the depiction of a life of decadence, love, passion and overwhelming beauty.

McQueen and I

Fashion anarchist, showman and designer Alexander McQueen is an absolute legend in the fashion world.  He had a fantastic ability to merge art with fashion.  McQueen and I highlights the careers of Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, the woman who discovered him and ultimately brought him to fame.  In the documentary she describes him as “a wild bird with a good silhouette” and he was just that. This documentary showcases dazzling footage and sheds light on McQueen’s brilliant career before the tragedy of his suicide in 2010.

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs

Young designers want to be stocked here, fashionistas want to work here and the rich and famous shop here. Bergdorf Goodman’s is far more then a destination it is an institution. This documentary divulges the inner workings of the most iconic department store in New York. City. See interviews with fashion’s heaviest hitters and exclusive behind the scene footage. This is a celebration of the artistry that is involved in the one of the world’s most famous retailers.

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

A man who was obsessed with angle and shape, revolutionized how we see our hair forever. He was a catalyst for change and encouraged a liberation for women everywhere. He is Vidal Sassoon. This documentary lays out the genius of his career and the heart ache of his climb to the top. Vidal proves to people how far passion can get you and how it can change not just your life but a nation’s. A must see for any hairdresser and an exceptionally enjoyable feature for any non hair types. Stocked with plenty of interviews and iconic photography, this documentary is full of character and charm.  Careful though it may tempt you to go for the chop!

Words: Anna Davies.

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